JI demands body of city stakeholders to monitor digital census

Published April 1, 2023
JI leader Hafiz Naeem speaks to the media at the protest camp.—PPI
JI leader Hafiz Naeem speaks to the media at the protest camp.—PPI

KARACHI: The Jamaat-i-Islami on Friday demanded that the authorities set up a committee comprising all stakeholders of Karachi to monitor the process of population census in the metropolis.

It also warned that it would not accept the results of ongoing digital census if the issues concerning the enumeration were not addressed and discrepancies in the process were not removed.

Speaking to reporters outside Governor House, where the party held a protest against the “unfair census in Karachi”, JI Karachi chief Hafiz Naeem ur Rehman said that those at the helm of affairs had been mocking the spirit of census in the name of “first-ever digital census” being carried out in the country.

The JI leader asked the authorities to constitute a committee — comprising stakeholders of the city — in order to monitor the process of census in Karachi.

He also demanded that Sindh Governor Kamran Tessori, being the representative of the federation, play his role in fixing the flaws of digital census.

Hafiz Naeem says his party will not accept census results if flaws not rectified

He said that each and every person living in the city should be counted as Karachiite. He said that any step for understating the population of the mega city would be tantamount to depriving Karachiites of their due share in representation on all levels as well as resources.

Hafiz Naeem made it clear that Karachiites would not tolerate any injustice neither accept the results of the census if they were not counted in full.

He also announced that they would stage demonstrations and protest camps on all major roads of the city in the next week. He lambasted the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan and the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf for notifying the flawed results of the last census held in 2017.

He said that the MQM-P and the Pakistan Peoples Party were once again bent on following anti-Karachi policies in connection with the census.

The JI leader questioned the MQM-P’s recent concerns on the digital census and asked the party to quit the ruling coalition in protest if it really cared about Karachiites.

He reminded the key coalition partners at the Centre — MQM-P and the PPP — of their claims when they entered into an agreement for the rights of Karachi. “How unfortunate that both parties are now enjoying ministries but are found helpless when it comes to the rights of Karachi,” he said.

“But the people of Karachi have become aware of their dubious partnership in the name of Karachi’s rights and development. They will no more tolerate this nexus of power to ruin their future,” he said.

He regretted that after months of preparations the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) failed to properly train and equip enumerators.

About the local government elections, he said that through “post-poll rigging” the majority of his party was being snatched only to suppress the genuine voice of Karachi.

He said: “So-called champions of democracy political parties never wanted a true and honest leadership in Karachi to keep their agenda of exploitation continue. But we will not let this injustice happen.”

“We will keep raising voice for a fair census and true count of Karachi population. We will also not back out from our demand of free and fair process to finally bring an end to the local government election process. The city needs effective, empowered and fair local government system and the JI will continue its struggle for this basic right of Karachi,” he said.

Published in Dawn, April 1st, 2023

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